Get into the festive spirit this winter by visiting one of the magical Christmas illuminations and light trails near you. If you’re looking for a Christmas activity to enjoy with the whole family, a festive light experience is perfect for all ages and will bring sparkle and cheer to the darkest winter months. There’s nothing like wrapping up warm and heading out on a cold winters evening to marvel at the pretty, twinkling illuminations with your family and friends.
Read our blog post for the best Family Days Out at Christmas in Somerset 2023. For some ideas for free or low cost events in the area, read Free Christmas Events in Somerset and Bristol, 2023.
There are many Christmas light displays to choose from and we’ve rounded up the Best Christmas Light Trails in Somerset and the Bristol area in 2023 for you. They tend to sell out quickly, so check out this list and book up as soon as you can.
The Best Christmas Light Trails in Somerset, 2023
Where: Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset BA5 1BB
When:25th November 2023 to 1st January 2024, from 9.30 am until 4 pm. (Meet Santa finishes 24th December 2023.)
Price: Adults £22.45, OAP’s £21.45, Children £17.95 (3-15yrs), £5 infant (under 3 yrs) – visit website and book online here.
Get into the spirit of Christmas at Wookey Hole’s Winter Wonderland. Your adventure includes three incredible Christmas experiences wrapped up into one magical day out. Visit the caves where over 100,000 of lights magically illuminate the way. It’s a breath-taking Christmas light show. Immerse yourself in Santa’s North Pole Grotto, where every child will get to meet Santa and take home a present from Santa’s Elves from the Toy Shop. You’ll also get to watch a spectacular Christmas-themed circus show, performed in the Wookey Hole Theatre as part of your experience. Your day out will include all the other attractions of Wookey Hole, including a special Christmas Movie in the 4D Cinema.
Where: Off Market Place, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2PD
When: 1st December (Member’s Only), 2nd – 3rd, 7th – 10th, 14th – 21st December 2023, open from 3:30pm until 7.30pm (last entry 7 pm).
Price: Adult £16, Children (5-17 yrs) £8, Under 5’s FREE. Access to the Christmas Illuminations is included with any valid admission to The Bishop’s Palace. Book here.
Discover a captivating display of festive lights and decorations at the inner gardens of The Bishop’s Palace. Marvel at the transformation of the medieval ruins and surrounding gardens, brought to life with lots of sparkling, colourful lights.
Step into the interior of the medieval Palace which will be transformed into a winter wonderland, adorned with festive finery from the Palace Gardens. As you step into the Entrance Hall, you’ll be greeted by a warm, crackling fire.
Culinary treats await you at The Bishop’s Table café, indulge in the festive menu being served during the illuminations in December.
Where: Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8LG
When: 23rd November and 30th December 2023. Limited capacity slots are available at 15 minute intervals from 4:45pm to 8:00pm (last entry).
Price: Adults £15.00, Children £7.50 (under 2 are free). Booking required, click here.
Prepare to be awe-inspired at the beautiful gardens at Hestercombe as they come to life this Christmas. “Illuminate” will transport you on a magical journey of colour, light and sound to bring festive awe and wonder to the gardens.
Bring the whole family to see the natural features and views of the Landscape Garden come to life at night. Following coloured paths with spotlights and lit trees towards the Great Cascade, down past beautiful fountains in the Pear Pond and through a ‘Christmas tree’ grove below the Formal Garden, before finishing with a show-stopping display in front of Hestercombe House.
Dogs are very welcome on a short lead.
The Bampfylde Hall will be open for hot food, snacks, cakes and drinks throughout the evening.
Where: Pixash Lane, Bath Road, Keynsham, BANES, BS31 1TP
When: 1st – 3rd, 8th – 10th, 15th – 23rd, 28th – 31st December 2023, from 5.30pm – 8.30pm (7.30pm last entry)
Price: £12.50/person, Under 2’s £10, Babes in arms FREE. Book here.
Bring the family to Avon Valley for a spectacular light trail. Follow a route around the park with the lake and trees as a spectacular backdrop. The stunning light installations, play areas and animatronic dinosaurs are creatively lit up, as well as a festive fun fair and elf express to enjoy. Knock on the door of the Grinch’s House if you dare, and see if you can make his heart grow!
You can also book the Christmas Experience at Avon Valley to compliment your visit. This includes a theatrical Santa show, see Santa is his beautifully decorated wooden cabin, visit his Toy Factory and choose your own gift, watch the Rudolph Show, decorate gingerbread with Mrs Claus in the parlour, make your own reindeer food in the shed to take home, explore the magical forest, post your letter to Santa in his Post Room and enjoy the park attractions such as the safari jeeps.
Check website for dates, times and prices.
Where: Royal Pavilion, Royal Victoria Park, Bath, BA1 2NR
When: 17th November 2023 to 3rd January 2024.
Price: Adult £8.75, Child (12 and under) £7.50, Teens £8.00. Pre-booking advised.
Bath’s popular adventure golf course will be decked out with its very own fairy light installations. Playing golf at night with glow-in-the-dark balls adds a whole new layer of excitement to the classic daytime experience. The 18-hole mini-golf course in Royal Victoria Park has been colourfully illuminated with rainbow lights for the festive season.
Afterwards, you can go ice skating at Bath on Ice, or enjoy a hot chocolate and a selection of food at Moguls Alpine Bar next door, open every day from 10:30am – 10:00pm
Where: West Street, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5DJ
When: 13th, 15th – 16th, 20th, 22nd, and 23rd December 2023, from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Wrap up warm and bring the family for an evening stroll around Frogmary’s Winter illuminations. This December Frogmary Farm are decorating their gardens and arboretum with festive Christmas lights.
Farm and Field Café will be open for takeaway winter warmers, festive treats and hot drinks during your wander around the farm’s illuminations.
Where: The Railway Station, Bishop’s Lydeard, Somerset, TA4 3RU
When: 24th – 25th November, 1st – 2nd, 8th – 9th, 15th – 16th, 21st – 23rd, 27th – 30th December 2023, two trains a day.
Price: £22.50/person, (under 2’s to sit on lap) free
All aboard an illuminated steam train, ready to take you on an unforgettable winter journey.
Travel along the enchanted track, through woodlands and countryside transformed for the season. Spectacular lineside displays will shine and glow, to the amazement of the whole family. An encapsulating tale will unfold along the way, before you arrive at Crowcombe Heathfield, where you will gaze in wonderment through the carriage windows at a famous station steeped in festive spirit. It’s then back to Bishops Lydeard in your cosy, comfortable carriage before your wonderful Winterlights journey becomes Christmas memories to treasure.
Snacks and drinks will be available to purchase before the journey.
Dunster by candlelight, which takes place on the first Friday and Saturday of December every year, sees the medieval village light up it’s streets with lanterns. One train service will run per day and depart Bishops Lydeard at 16.30, returning from Minehead at 20.30.
Where: Lyncombe Drive, Churchill. BS25 5PQ.
When: Between 3rd November 2023 to 2nd January 2024.
Price:From £80/up to 8 people. Book here.
Hit the toboggan slope with family and friends for a magical and exhilarating evening. The 10,000 fairy lights, coloured flood lights, lasers, Santa hats, festive music and a Hollywood-style snow machine create an unforgettably festive experience. After tobogganing, you’ll head along a magical illuminated path to an enchanted clearing in the ancient woodland. Sit under giant canopies around a camp fire and roast marshmallows, make s’mores and light sparklers. Hot chocolate will be waiting too to ensure the perfect end to a festive, family experience you’ll never forget.
Where: Bath City Centre
When: Wednesday 15th November 2023
- Procession 5.30 pm
Bath Lights the Night is an event to celebrate the lights switching on in the city. Watch the procession come through the streets with beautiful handmade lanterns created by schools, families and friends at the Bath Carnival, accompanied by a Samba band.
Watch the procession from outside the Roman Baths Shop, Primark or by the York Street Arch.
Following the Bath Lantern Procession through the city and Christmas Light switch on, head to the Abbey for a music event…
Where: Bath Abbey
When: Straight after the Lantern Procession (6 pm)
Price: Free event, book tickets online in advance
Join for an evening of celebration filled with light from the procession with music and singing from the Bath Rock Choir at Bath Abbey.
Best Christmas Illuminations in Bristol 2023
Where: Foxholes Lane, Tockington, Bristol, BS32 4PG
When: 26thNovember to 24thDecember2023, from4:30pm – 7:30pm 2023. (Three sessions per evening event).
Price: Adults £17, Child £11.50 (2 – 15 yrs), concessions available. Booking ahead is advised.
This festive Illumination Trail offers a magical sensory experience that lights the beautiful Country Park. This year, the after dark event will feature a Starry Night trail guiding you around Old Down Estate, surrounding you with music, colour and light with interactive areas along the way. A truly magical Christmas experience for the whole family.
Dogs on a lead are more than welcome to join you on this magical trail.
Where: Seat Unique Stadium, Nevil Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 9EJ
When: Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st December 2023
Price:Adult £21 (second release price), Child/Concession £14, U4’s FREE – book online here.
Evolution is a visually immersive drone light show, created by Celestial, the visionary light artists. Taking audiences on a mesmerising journey through time and space, the narrated story starts with the Big Bang, the explosive inception of the universe and journeys into the emergence of the sun, our solar system and the planets that inhabit it.
Get stuck into the magic of the evening with festive food stalls, mouthwatering local street food, fairground rides, and music.
Christmas Illuminations in Gloucesterhire and Wiltshire
Where: Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW
When: Selected dates from 11th November 2023 to 7th January 2024
Price: Prices start from £18.70 – see website for details.
The Festival of Light presents The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and other treasured tales. Put your family at the centre of the most magical Christmas story of them all this year, as The Festival of Light returns, with more life-size lanterns than ever before. Step into The Wondrous Worlds of Roald Dahl and marvel at the breath-taking illuminated world of your favourite childhood characters. Go on the iconic Winter Safari, Santa Train, and don’t miss the spectacular fountain display on Half Mile Pond. Longleat House will be even more luminous, with a phenomenal light show bringing its historic facade to life.
Where: Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, GL54 5LP
When: 24-26 November, 1-3, 7-10, 14-23, 27-30 December 2023.
Price: Adults £19.50, Children (3-15) £8.75, Infants under 3 FREE
Explore the magical after-dark experience at Sudeley Castle and follow the new illuminated trail around the beautiful castle grounds. On the way, meet some of the fabulous characters from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz! Discover the Light Wave on the Mulberry Lawn, the sparkling water features and the Harlequin trees, the flickering Fire Flowers of the Queens garden, light beams, lanterns and the columns of light in front of the Castle.
Take away hot food, drinks and doughnuts are available to buy. Sip festive warmers of spiced mulled wine and sprinkled hot chocolate as you join the magical trail.
You can arrive anytime before your trail time slot to soak up some seasonal cheer in the Christmas Village. Once complete you will exit via the Christmas Village. The village will have food and drink stalls and traditional fairground rides.
National Trust: My Nearest Christmas Light Trail
Where: Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6QD
When: 1st – 31st December 2023, various time slots available each evening. Booking is essential.
Price: Peak and off-peak time slots available. View prices online here.
Christmas at Stourhead is a famous annual event that sees this world-famous Wiltshire estate lit up with festive illuminations. Look forward to spending time together with friends and family as you discover sparkling tunnels, giant baubles and glistening trees drenched in jewel-like colour. Discover a sea of light stretching out into the distance, larger-than-life crystals suspended in trees and Liquid Sky filling the air with all the colours of the rainbow!
And don’t forget to keep an eye out for Father Christmas along the way.
There’ll be a range of delicious and tempting treats for sale. So, why not complete your walk under the stars with a spiced winter warmer, a hot chocolate or some toasted marshmallows, shared with someone special.
Top Tips for visiting a light trail and festive illuminations
- Pre-book your tickets early because most places will sell out quickly. Keep an eye on the website for when tickets are released and book in advance. For some places you will need to book a time slot for arrival. The peak times will be earlier on in the evening and weekends.
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear as these are evening events, taking place after dark in winter. There may be some slippery surfaces on your route, especially when wet.
- Arrive in plenty of time. Give yourself time to park the car and walk to the trail entrance by your allocated time (some venues require you to book a time-slot).
- It is a good idea to bring a torch with you just in case because the event takes place after dark and it’s useful to have extra lighting. Some children bring glow sticks!
- Check with the venue how accessible the site is before you book, not all trails are wheelchair friendly.
- Check with the venue whether dogs are welcome before bringing your pet with you.
- Bring money and allow extra time for a hot drink and snack, most venues will be selling food and drink.
Please note, every effort has been made to ensure that all information is correct at the time of publishing this post, but please check the venues website/socials before travelling, as events may be amended or cancelled at short notice. Many of these events need pre-booking. If you have any more suggestions for family-friendly light trails and illuminations in Somerset and Bristol, we’d love to hear from you!
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